Brothers & Co. to move to Kress Building

WICHITA — Brothers & Co. is moving to the Kress Building downtown with a plan that served the advertising agency well when it opened its first Wichita office:

Lease more space than it needs, and hope to outgrow it.

Shawn Harris (left) and Kristjan Olson of Brothers & Co., which is moving to the Kress Building at Douglas and Broadway.

Shawn Harris (left) and Kristjan Olson of Brothers & Co., which is moving to the Kress Building at Douglas and Broadway.

“We would be absolutely thrilled if we had to go procure more space or add more floors,” says Kristjan Olson, an account supervisor and Wichita team leader.

The Tulsa-based agency, which is known here for the “Bravely Onward” campaign it did for Fidelity Bank, has done business in Wichita for about a decade. It opened its first Wichita office in 900 square feet at WaterWalk Place in early 2013.

The space was too big then, “and it’s now too small for what we need today,” Olson says.

The new space at the Kress Building, which is at the northwest corner of Douglas and Broadway, will be about 4,500 square feet.

“We’ve had a lot of growth,” says associate creative director Shawn Harris. “This move is really a reflection of that growth. … We’re hoping to continue that growth.”

Olson says a big part of that is through talent acquisition.

“Being able to reach out and find new employees who can help us grow more,” he says.

The agency, which also has an Oklahoma City office, has about 80 employees, seven of whom are in Wichita.

“Our space will probably allow for a solid 15-person agency in its current configuration,” Olson says.

He says the agency frequently partners with others, such as video production companies and photographers, and the extra space will help with that as well.

“Part of good client service includes proximity,” Olson says. “The idea is that we’re really here to service our clients and to service them better.”

Though the agency’s work in Wichita isn’t strictly Wichita-focused, it has a number of clients here, such as Kansas Strong and a division of Invista. National clients include Remington firearms and Carhartt and Under Armour clothing.

“We’re spread across a pretty wide variety of industries,” Olson says.

That includes the oil and gas industry, a fair amount in the financial sector and the outdoor sector, including sports such as hunting and fishing.

“A good number of our clients are located in this area,” Olson says. “There’s certainly a number of companies that we’d like to … get on their radar.”

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PR News takes ‘cheap shot’ at the Shockers

scoreUPDATED — In a bid for more subscribers through a national e-mail blast on Wednesday, PR News touted its “expert opinions” on communications and crisis management, among other things, through what a Wichita State University spokesman calls a “cheap shot” at the Shockers.

The PR group now needs a little crisis management help of its own.

The e-mail, which was about how to “score big” in the business, has a subject line that says “Don’t be like Wichita State.”

“Really, that’s the approach you’re going to take to generate business?” asks WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser. “It’s just a marketing attempt gone awry. Is it the end of the world? No. But it’s unfortunate.”

His day began with a couple of e-mails from his counterparts at Wake Forest University and Princeton University alerting him to the slam against the school and its beloved Shockers.

“And, yes, I am unsubscribing from their distribution list,” one said after saying how much the slam annoyed him.

It’s a sentiment others locally and nationally are echoing.

“We think this approach is mean-spirited and beneath contempt,” wrote Barth Hague, WSU’s associate vice president for university relations and chief marketing officer, in an e-mail to PR News about playing on the Shockers’ “heartbreaking loss.”

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Twin Peaks has west-side space, and it isn’t where anyone suspected

The west-side Twin Peaks will be on the north end of this building across Ridge Road from Carlos O'Kelly's and Panera Bread.

The west-side Twin Peaks will be on the north end of this building across Ridge Road from Carlos O’Kelly’s and Panera Bread.

WICHITA — There’s been a popular guessing game of where the west-side Twin Peaks might go. As it turns out, it’s not opening at any of the spots most people thought it might.

Franchisee Rusty Rathbun considered most of those sites, but he’s settled on 7325 W. Taft instead.

“It’s been overlooked from a retail perspective,” says Dan Unruh of InSite Real Estate Group.

The building, which is across Ridge Road from Carlos O’Kelly’s and Panera Bread, was built as office space that most recently was home to American Family Insurance.

Gallery Expressions will be Twin Peaks’ neighbor to the northwest across a parking lot, and the Lowe’s at Maple and Ridge Road is just north of that.

“This one kept coming up as a great site if we could just make the building work,” Unruh says.

InSite is part of South Ridge LLC, a group that purchased the 16,800-square-foot center where Twin Peaks is going.

Rathbun says he seriously considered about 15 properties before deciding on the Taft site.

“It works because of the traffic count and all the number one restaurants in the area,” he says.

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Fidelity Bank expands at NewMarket Square

UPDATED — Fidelity Bank already has two branches at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road, but it’s expanding.

“That is one of the fastest-growing areas in the city,” says Al Sanchez, Fidelity’s senior vice president and director of marketing. “We are happy with the business results that we had out there.”

Fidelity has a branch in Walmart. It also has one in the strip center it owns in front of Walmart.

“It’s really more of a drive-up facility,” Sanchez says of the strip center location.

“We’re going to turn that into a full-service banking facility.”

Currently, that site is less than 1,000 square feet.

“When we’re done, we’ll be over 5,000 square feet out there,” Sanchez says.

There will be consumer and mortgage loan officers, a full retail staff of tellers and new account specialists and, for the first time in that area, safe deposit boxes.

The building has been mostly vacant for a while.

“There were a couple of businesses that decided to go elsewhere,” Sanchez says.

He says the bank is taking the entire center.

“It’s going to be much larger.”

WDM Architects is the architect, and Conco Construction is the contractor.

Look for the expanded branch to open this fall.

Birds on the Roof Bakery & Cafe to open in center at Central and Rock in March

WICHITA — Thao Luu couldn’t find the job she was hoping for when she graduated with a hospitality management degree from Butler Community College and was beginning to despair when she passed a sign at Fidelity Bank.

“Wichitans don’t hope for a better future. We build it.”

The sign inspired Luu to start her own business and hire her former professor, Roger Bosserman, to help.

Luu is opening Birds on the Roof Bakery & Cafe in the former Verde Sustainable Living space in the center at the northeast corner of Central and Rock.

Though Luu is Vietnamese — she moved here three years ago to marry chemical engineer Jimmy Nguyen — she will offer mostly American dishes for breakfast and lunch. That includes paninis, sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers and salad. There will be a French flair with some dishes, such as crepes and savory pastries.

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You don’t say

“Events like this make me wish I was a girl.”

Charlie Moon, senior vice president at Fidelity Bank, joking at the recent YWCA Jewelry Jubilee